(final edit before the proofreaders (he said). You can read the previous version here.)
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Joni Levis rolled over and buried her head against Virgil’s pillow. Still asleep, she settled herself into the bed and inhaled deeply, pulling in his aromas, his shampoo and sweat, and smiled.
She felt a trill, a tingling contraction, a brief muscle spasm in her vagina. A moment later there was another quiver and she half opened her eyes. Awake, the contractions became more immediate and demanding. She looked at the large, red numerals on her clock: 4:35AM.
Virgil always woke her up within a few minutes of 4:35AM for a little lovemaking. It didn’t matter if she was turned away, on her back, on her stomach, curled in the covers, facing him or what; always the gentle nudge, the liquid parting, and his lips would be on her, his penis in her. Busy-busy-busy for a few minutes and then asleep once again.
She reached for him and her hand closed on empty sheets. Her eyes opened wide. No Virgil and the bathroom was dark.
She turned on the lamp beside her bed. His clothes were gone. The only part of him remaining in her Boston BackBay condo was his scent on her sheets and his necklace around her neck.
“Fuck you, Virgil.”
Her eyes darted around the bedroom and stopped on her reflection in the mirror. “Ugh.” She turned away, pulled her nightshirt down — again! — and crossed her arms over her chest, her body reminding her of a little girl’s that had suddenly sprouted too much boob. She stopped wearing t-shirts with sayings on them because the punchlines were always hidden in the shade.
She pulled her knees up under the sheets and held them tight against her, flattening her chest and checked herself again. “Ugh.”
Her hand reached to her nightstand for a cigarette and came up empty.
“Guess today wasn’t the day to quit smoking.”
She’d replaced the ashtray with bowl of cherry Tootsie-Roll Pops. Rocking slightly, she unwrapped one, crinkled the wrapper, tossed it down on Virgil’s side of the bed, and sucked hard on the round head of candy as it entered her mouth.
“What’re you going to tell me this time? You going to tell me you had to go feed your dog? You going to say your friend, ‘Sarah’, couldn’t take care of things tonight and you had to get home?”
She took the lollipop out of her mouth and jabbed it like a pointer at the vacant side of the bed. “You know, people have been telling me to hire a private detective to find out about you. I’m thinking about it, you know.”
The necklace’s cheap stone pendent slithered between her breasts.
“And this fucking necklace.”
She laughed. Virgil called it a fucking necklace because “I like you wearing it when we fuck.”
She lifted the stone to her lips. “Come in, Virgil. Six-O-Seven-Niner on the old Ten-Four, good buddy.”
She snapped it off and threw it across the room. It banged against the wall, shattered, and let out a dying squeal.
“What the?” She retrieved it and held it under a light. A tiny circuit board grew dark. “You bastard. I was kidding. You fucking bastard.”
Another twinge. This one deeper, higher. In her womb. “I’m a month late, Virgil. Did you hear that? Is that why you left? You always seem to know these things. If I have it, will it be a lying little bastard like you?”
Outside and several stories below, a tractor-trailer headed east through Boston along Interstate-90. A car horn screamed and the big truck’s airhorn drowned it out briefly. The car horn became stationary while the truck’s horn continued on. “Yeah, that’s right,” she nodded. “That’s exactly right.” She reached again to her nightstand, opened the drawer and lifted out a vibrator. Black letters on its white side read “DaVinci’s Personalé Vibrateur“.
“Fuck you. Just fuck you.” She put the wet, sticky lollipop on the nightstand, turned the vibrator on, and shut off the light. “Fuck you.”
The vibrator quaked between her legs and her bedroom door opened. She walked through into her parents’ house in Denver.
Her mother walked out of the kitchen wearing clothes and a hairdo straight out of the early 1990’s. It was like watching a home video. Joni kept looking for her twin sister and brothers to enter the frame.
Her mother held a broom and swept between Joni’s legs.
Her mother turned into Shakespeare complete with long hair, ruffled collar, puffy shirt, tights, beard and everything. Shakespeare pointed out the door Joni had entered. “Out, foul thing.”
Joni walked out the door into heavy rain. No, not rain. A shower head hung directly over her in the sky. Water poured down but only wet her groin. She reached down. She was soaked. There was something else, something hard and unyielding.
“What the…” She woke quickly, the dildo still in her hand, her body shaking with the last pulses of her orgasm.
Something moved at her window.
She saw it again. A black silhouette, like a small man’s shadow. It walked through her window and up into the sky.
Dr. Honey Fitz watched for reactions. “So you say this is the first time you’ve had this dream, and you think it has something to do with your boyfriend?”
Joni sat in a plush, comfortable highback chair that belonged in a wealthy family’s sitting room, not a psychiatrist’s office.
But this was McLean Hospital, and this was Belmont, Massachusetts, and Dr. Fitz got three-hundred dollars an hour to sit on her skinny, old, Boston Brahmin ass and listen, so the furniture had better be damn nice. For that matter, the whole damn office looked like it should be a wealthy family’s sitting room. Everything matched: the chair Dr. Fitz sat in while she listened to Joni, the dark rosewood desk and chair beside it, the oriental rug that hushed the steps of anyone entering her office, even the painting of her namesake, Boston’s own Mayor Honey Fitz, smiling benevolently as his great-granddaughter listened to secrets he would’ve used to make himself rich. Hell, even the coat rack matched the chairs and desk. How many places did you know did that?
Joni stared out the window to the beautiful lawns and sculpted arborage guarding the hospital’s eastern wing from the citizenry beyond. “I don’t like calling him my boyfriend. He has a name. Virgil. The Virge.”
“You’re objectifying him.”
“I object to him, period.”
Dr. Fitz flipped through some notes. “Before you referenced him as your boyfriend.”
Joni’s thumbs spun the rings on her fingers like a magician practicing coin tricks. She pursed her lips and continued to stare out the window.
Joni ran a slim hand down the green silk of her blouse as if to straighten the pleats. Would her bosom grow larger or shrink to nothing if she had the child, or even if she waited too long before aborting it? Her mother’s breasts had shrunk to hanging prunes. But she’d breastfed four children. Her sister’s boobs had ballooned to the point she couldn’t go anywhere without men and women tripping on curbs or running into store displays when she walked past.
Funny. Her mother had breasts and both she and her sister had boobs.
Boobs. Tits. Knockers. Masougas. Momboes. Hangers. Hooters. Kleevcos.
That last one came from a website Virgil talked about.
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